By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Filipino super bantamweight Drian Franicisco will fight undefeated two-time Olympic gold medal winner Guillermo Rigondeaux on the undercard of the middleweight showdown between Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo Alvarez, which is scheduled for November 21 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The fight card to be telecast by TV5 and HBO Pay-Per-View.
Rigondeaux was made the WBA champion "in recess" at 122-pounds and it appears he will be reinstated to active "super champion" status to make this a title fight.
The New Standard/BoxingScene.com learned of the Francisco-Rigondeaux fight when Francisco pulled out of a scheduled ten round bout against rugged Danilo Pena in an MP Promotions fight card at the Philippine Navy Gymnasium in Fort Bonifacio on Friday evening.
Francisco revealed that he “had an offer from MP Promotions to fight abroad against Rigondeaux for a world championship. This is a chance for me for a world championship and this normally doesn’t happen and this is okay for me."
Asked whether he was in condition to fight Rogondeaux, Francisco said “I am in shape because I was supposed to fight tonight and I am a little slim"
When asked whether he could make the weight (122 pounds), he said "when I enter the ring I am only five or six pounds heavier, so it is easy for me to lose weight to make the limit.”
When told that Rigondeaux was an extremely good fighter, Francisco said “if you think you can handle him you will, but if you think you cannot, then you will not.”
Francisco indicated that he had long dreamed of fighting Rigondeaux and that he believed he could beat him.
When boxing man Mike Ochosa who covered the MP Promotions fight card for Via Sports asked Drian what he needs to do against Rigondeaux, he replied “ I need heart and believe that as a Pinoy we will rarely get a chance to fight for a championship. This is a battle of hearts and good physical condition.”
He said he believes as an outstanding amateur whose style in the pros is still the same, Rigondeaux would be befuddled by his unorthodox style and while there are those who believe he doesn’t have a chance he has confidence in himself to be able to beat the unbeaten world champion.
The fight will be Rigondeaux first of a multi-fight deal that is being put together between the talented fighter and Roc Nation Sports.